I know I am really behind in posting the logs for the OGL Ancients
game. Life has been throwing all sorts of curve balls at me, so I haven't had the time to sit down and edit the logs to make them "postable." Unfortunately, the logs for episodes 16 and 17 (the games from three and two weeks ago, respectively) are not quite ready for posting; they are incredibly disorganized
and I'm embarrassed to post something so haphazard
. However, episode 18--last weeks' game--is done. So, since some players were absent last week and need to know what happened before tomorrow's game, I'm posting the log for episode 18 before I post episodes 16 and 17.
The party is now standing in the middle of the Greek underworld. Hades’s domain is comprised of three different parts: Tarturus, where the worst-off souls, the evilest of evil, go; Asphodel fields, which is where all the neutral souls, who are neither good nor evil, go; and the Elysian fields, where all the good souls and heroes go. Additionally, there are five rivers: the Styx (the river of hate); the Lethe (the river of forgetfulness); the Phlegethon (the river of fire); the Acheron (the river of sorrow); and the Cocytus (the river of lamentation).
Imagine the underworld as a giant circle. Around the circumference of the circle are the River Styx on the eastern side, near the entrance from the mortal realm, and the River Phlegathon on the western side. Just west of the River Styx is the River Lethe, which runs through the Asphodel fields. The River Acheron is at the northern end of the circle, separating the Elysian fields from the Asphodel fields. The River Cocytus is at the southern end of the circle, separating Asphodel from Tarturus.
The party is currently between the Rivers Styx and Lethe, in the middle of a very gray, watered-down mirror of the real world—the Asphodel fields, the field for the souls of neutral people, the field where souls are said to fall into a monotonous cycle of existence. There are souls wandering around, going about their daily activities almost like robots—the souls of the neutral, average, mundane people who did neither good nor evil, but simply existed.
Iona, being a (intelligent) Greek priestess, Althaia, being who she is, and Bosca, being a witch, all know the layout of the underworld. However, Badru knows, too. Even though he is Egyptian, he remembers a story he heard years ago from one of his relatives, who did not begrudge the Greeks and who had traveled to Greece and learned about their myths and religious ceremonies. This relative had told Badru many stories about the Greek underworld, including its detailed layout. So, the four of them know that the river they are approaching is the Lethe.
As the party approaches the Lethe, they realize that there is no ferryman at this river. Some of the souls, however, seem to look as though they are walking across the river, as if they were walking on ice. Mnemosyne notes that the terrain to the southern end of the river looks dark and bleak, and toward the northern end it looks golden and sunny.
“Be very careful, please. This river is dangerous. Don’t drink anything out of it,” Iona tells the party at large.
“Why?” Aella asks.
“You’ll forget everything,” Iona explains. Fukayna, as snarky as always, snorts. Kleos, however, doesn’t get this, and keeps pestering as to why he can’t drink from the river. Aella gets a stroke of intelligence: Thinking smartly, she tells Kleos, “Kleos, if you drink the water, both me and your brother are going to be very mad at you.”
“Why?” Kleos asks.
“Because you’ll forget things and you’ll be stupid, and you know that your brother doesn’t like stupid people,” Atrophos tells him.
One of Althaia’s slaves goes over to the water to touch the surface tension. He lowers his foot down, and it goes into the water. Emuishere sneakily collects some of the water of the Lethe in her water skin. However, Badru, Aella, Iona, and Althaia all notice her doing this.
“What are you doing?” Iona asks her.
“You shouldn’t do that. A canteen is for drinking out of,” Aella adds.
“I know that. I won’t be the one drinking out of it,” Emuishere explains.
“You can’t do that. Even if they did something bad, you can’t make people forget everything.” Iona tries to convince Emuishere that collecting the water is a bad idea.
As the party continues to stare at the water, wondering how they are going to get across, they notice a moon bridge appearing in front of them. It’s like a raft, floating on top of the river, but it’s not perfect; there are gaps in the bridge. They slowly start to cross the bridge.
Mithra steps in a crack in the bridge and almost falls through. Althaia spins around, the reins of her horse in one hand, and grabs Mithra’s hand, pulling him up to solid “ground.” Linus also steps in one of the cracks; he trips forward, lands on the platform, and starts rolling toward the edge. Aiolos manages to grab onto him just before he falls over into the river.
Everyone else makes it across the bridge without any incidents. Once across, they find themselves into the “monotony-ville” that is the Asphodel fields—a place where average, ordinary people go through the average, ordinary activities of average, ordinary lives. Kleos goes over to try to help chop wood, but his axe goes right through the wood of the spiritual world, confusing him. Since he is not hurting himself, Atrophos decides to let him continue doing this.
Those who know enough about Greek religion (whether it’s their own religion or not), in particular about the Greek underworld, know that the likeliest place in the underworld for Hades to be is in Tarturus, because he likes tormenting people. Additionally, since it’s summertime, Persephone won’t be here; she’ll be with Demeter.
“I think I may know someone who may be able to help us find the cornucopia,” Iona says to the rest of the group.
“The what?” Aella says.
“The cornucopia, the thing we’re here to find,” Iona responds. She tries to stop a soul to see if she can get him to talk to her. “Excuse me? I’m looking for someone,” she addresses one of the souls. “Do you know how I might find someone around here?”
“Who are you?” the soul asks in a monotonous tone of voice.
“My name is Iona.”
“You’re not dead.” The soul stares at her.
“No, I’m not. I’m here as a messenger of the gods.”
“Why are you here?”
“I need to find someone. Her name is Irene, and she is a priestess of Demeter.”
“I do not know of such a person,” the soul tells her.
“Thank you,” Iona thanks the person.
Emuishere then approaches Iona. “My mother might be here. She is very good at finding things. Maybe we should go look for her,” she suggests. “Do you think she would be here?” Iona says that if Emuishere’s mother was good, she is probably in the Elysian fields, and not here in the Asphodel fields; and the Elysian fields is where the person she is looking for would be, anyway.
Atrophos tries to get Kleos’s attention, but Kleos is starting to get sucked into the monotony of the Asphodel fields. After finally managing to get his attention (which took forever, until she mentioned “Brother! Mother father!” and Kleos finally got it: they were here to see their parents), Atrophos pulls him away, while Aella face palms.
Iona and Emuishere start heading toward the Elysian fields, talking about where Emuishere’s mother might be. The rest of the party notices them start heading off. Badru, Althaia, Mithra, Iona, and Mnemosyne try to figure out where the cornucopia might be.
Iona (with the powers of being a priestess of Demeter, and with a 25 dice roll) and Badru (with a natural 20) realize that there is this little known myth: when Demeter was wandering the world looking for Persephone, she was carrying her cornucopia with her, because she didn’t want anyone else to touch it. However, although she likes using her cornucopia, Demeter doesn’t actually need it to make the world plentiful again.
At one point, when she had stopped to wallow in her grief [over the loss of her daughter Persephone], her cornucopia took it; in other words, it was stolen from her. The theory is that the thief either sold it off or when he died, it went with him to the underworld.
Mithra, who is also familiar with this tale, and who gets a natural 20 on his bardic powers roll, retells the abovementioned tale like no other bard has told this tale before. His retelling is so epic that even some of the souls stop their monotonous activities to stare at him. Aella sidles up to him and stares at him in awe, until Althaia, noticing that she is making Mithra uncomfortable, pushes her away slightly.
“If the thief died and brought the cornucopia with him, perhaps he’d be in Tarturus,” Mithra suggests to Althaia. So the two of them (and their entourages), along with Badru and Aiolos, start heading toward Tarturus, where they figure the thief would be. Emuishere, meanwhile, is still headed toward Elysian, accompanied by Fukayna and followed by Iona.
Atrophos, meanwhile, has been going around talking to souls, looking for her father. She tries to talk to one soul, who is rather apathetic, but gets no information from this man: he has not seen anyone here who looks like he could be Atrophos and Kleos’s dad.
“What did he do?” the soul asks.
“Kleos, do you remember anything about our dad?” Atrophos asks her brother. Kleos thinks for a moment.
“He liked to talk about stuff. A lot,” Kleos remembers. (Their dad was a philosopher.) Atrophos relays this information to the soul, who continues to respond with monotonous “Uh.”
Aiolos looks over his shoulder and calls out to Atrophos and Aella: “Are you two coming with us?”
“Not right now,” Atrophos responds.
Aiolos turns toward the others heading toward Tarturus. “I don’t think we should leave them alone. They might eat something.”
“It would perhaps be a good idea for us to be together,” Althaia agrees, and sends Bosca to catch up with Iona, Emuishere, and Fukayna.
Emuishere and Fukayna, meanwhile, reach the Acheron. It’s a dark, dark gray; it seems weighted down with the tears of everyone who ever existed. Iona, who had been following them at a distance, calls out to them: “Stop and wait for me!”
Emuishere stops, staring at the river. Iona catches up to her and tells her that they shouldn’t cross this river, because the rivers here are bad. Emuishere starts walking along the bank of the river. Fukayna tries to pray to build a bridge big enough to cross the river, but her prayer is not answered (thank goodness). Emuishere prays for some way to get across, and her prayers are answered with a tightrope across the river.
“Don’t go on that!” Iona cries, trying to stop her, but Emuishere doesn’t listen; tries to get on the tightrope to cross the river.
Just then, Bosca catches up to them. “The lady requests that you catch up with us. She believes the item for which we are looking might be in Tarturus, not in Elysian.”
However, at that moment, Emuishere nearly falls off the tightrope. She catches her balance, and makes it halfway the tightrope, before she loses her balance completely and falls into the river. Fukayna was not nearly as fortunate, however; she had not even made it so much as an inch across the rope before she loses her balance and falls into the river.
Emuishere manages to grab onto the tightrope and starts inching her way across the river with her hands. Bosca calls out to her: “I suggest you come back here with us, dear.”
“But if I go back with you, then I won’t be able to come back here,” Emuishere protests. “And then I won’t be able to see my mother.”
Iona promises Emuishere that if they go back to the rest of the party, she will do her best to make sure that Emuishere is able to come back here to see if she can find her mother here. Emuishere looks toward Bosca, silently asking that being able to come back would not be a problem.
“That is my lady’s decision,” Bosca tells her, “but I don’t see how it would be an issue.”
Emuishere tries to sidle along the rope back to the other side. However, she loses grip on the rope and falls into the water. Bosca creates two blocks of earth under Emuishere’s feet, so that the priestess is no longer underwater, but she is stuck 30 feet out in the water.
Bosca sends Saix, who had followed her, back to Althaia to fetch the noblewoman.
Fukayna tries to swim, but fails and ends up getting carried with the current toward the River Styx. Emuishere prays for both of them to be out of the water, and her prayer is answered: both she and Fukayna find themselves on shore. Unfortunately, Fukayna had accidentally swallowed some of the water, so now she is perpetually crying and is feeling rather woeful.
“I think if Jen falls in the river of lamentations, we’re throwing her into the Lethe [so she won’t be able to remember anything].”
“We’ll have a very epically depressed, invulnerable, sarcastic, mute cat who won’t remember anything.”
“If she falls into the river of fire I don’t want to know what happens.”
“What happens in the river of fire?”
“You get set on fire!”
Ignoring Emuishere, Fukayna, and Bosca, Iona starts walking back toward the rest of the party, who are still in the Asphodel fields. On her way, by pure random probability, she passes by her husband, who had died years ago. He is doing some type of manual labor, in the same monotonous fashion as everyone else in the Asphodel.
“Pedros?” she gasps softly. He looks at her blankly. “Do you know who I am?” she asks.
The soul of Pedros stares at her. “No,” he responds.
“It’s Iona, your wife.”
“Huh?” He looks at her.
“Pedros. It’s me. Do you remember when you were alive and we were married?” she asks him.
“There was color,” Pedros responds.
“That’s true, there was color. You remember being married?”
Pedros looks thoughtful for a moment. “Almost,” he says.
“Okay,” Iona says with remarkable calm. “I just wanted to see you. I wanted to tell you that the baby died. When you died, I was going to have a baby. And it died. And I wasn’t sure you knew.”
“Oh. That’s sad,” Pedros says, his tone of voice unchanging. “Are you okay?”
“I’m okay,” Iona says, then continues on her way, back toward the rest of the party.
Fukayna, meanwhile, is still perched on the banks of the Acheron, sobbing her kitty soul out but unable to express in words the source of her woe. Emuishere tries to pick her up and manages to catch her after one attempt. Fukayna tries to scratch her, but Emuishere succeeds in tying a rope to the chain around the cat’s neck. The priestess then starts dragging the artificer-turned-cat away, while said cat yowls silently, slightly choking herself as she struggles against the rope.
Everyone gets back together. Iona, Emuishere, and Fukayna, plus Bosca, pass by Atrophos and Aella, who are still searching for Atrophos and Kleos’s father (with no success). Aella questions why Fukayna is so sad, and Emuishere explains that she fell in some water that made her sad. Emuishere tries to convince Atrophos and Aella that they, too, should come with the rest of the party. Atrophos agrees on the basis that she is able to come back to try to find her father.
The party reaches the banks of the Cocytus, the river of lamentations. Another one of those rickety moon-like bridges appears over the river (courtesy of Althaia’s prayer). This time, everyone makes it across the Cocytus, without any incidents.
And they find themselves in dark, dank, and depressing Tarturus. The souls here are all miserable. There are really fat men superimposed over skeletons; big strong men superimposed over weak, hobbling men; beautiful women superimposed over ugly hags. In the distance, they can glimpse the soul of Sisyphus, who is doomed to forever push a stone up a hill only to have it fall back down the hill again.
They look around for someone who looks like he’d be dumb enough to steal from a goddess. Those who get a high enough Spot see, in the center of this place, a tall tower that appears to be an observation tower. With a natural 20, one can see the occasional flicker or something that might be shiny coming from the top of the tower. Clearly, this is Hades’s observation tower, from which he watches the tormenting of souls and laughs at them.
A few crazy souls, armed with crazy weapons, come charging at them, roaring with anger…and then go right through the party, and keep running, swinging their swords at the party as they charge through. Aella waves her sword at them, but her sword only goes right through them. One of the souls stops and grabs at Linus, and for some reason, probably because Linus is [un]dead, this crazy guy actually grabs onto Linus’s arm.
“Let go of me,” Linus says in his normal sharp tone of voice. The crazy soul starts slashing at Linus with his sword, and unfortunately for Linus, this sword is actually capable of connecting.
Althaia rides over to Linus, and looks at the soul. “Leave,” she says with the deepest authority that she can. The souls ignore her; in fact, one of them swings his sword and runs through her, and then tries to attack Linus again. While Mithra tries to fascinate the rest of the souls, Althaia hauls Linus up and throws him on the back of his warhorse.
Mithra starts reciting another ballad. Five of the souls are fascinated by Mithra’s ballad, but one of the others charges at Mithra—apparently, he was one of the bad guys in the story Mithra is reciting. Since Mithra is not dead, the soul’s sword doesn’t harm him, but he continues following Mithra, slashing at him furiously, his “body” turning slightly red in anger.
Fukayna manages to break away from Emuishere’s grasp. Emuishere lets go of the leash, and Fukayna makes a mad dash for the tower. Aiolos tries to grab her as she dashes by, but fails.
“So do you think he can see us? Hades, I mean,” Aella asks.
One of the souls wandering by says, “Duh.”
“So he knows we’re here,” Aella says.
“Yeah…” says another soul wandering by, in a well-of-course-he-can-see-you-duh tone of voice.
Mnemosyne sees, off in the distance, a figure who could possibly be her mother; she is carrying two little baby-shaped bundles. She can tell that she is not walking well, like these baby “bundles” weight 150+ pounds each. Mnemosyne surreptitiously starts wandering off in that direction. Everyone notices her, of course, because while she is colored, all of the souls in here are in shades of gray and black.
“The cat belongs here spiritually.
Aiolos asks Mnemosyne where she is going. Mnemosyne doesn’t answer; she just keeps on walking. Aiolos follows her, as does Althaia and her entourage.
Mnemosyne approaches the woman. She twiddles her thumbs. “Hello?” she says tentatively.
The woman slowly turns around. “Airlia?” she says.
“Hi?” Mnemosyne says.
“WHAT are you doing here?” the woman demands.
“That’s a long story,” Mnemosyne replies.
Althaia tries to touch the baby-shaped bundles.
“Don’t touch them!” the woman cries out to Althaia, then turns to Mnemosyne. “Where are they?” she demands, speaking of Mnemosyne’s brothers.
“Back there…” Mnemosyne says, gesturing behind her. Althaia snaps her fingers, and two of her slaves push the twins forward a bit. The woman suddenly collapses on the ground and starts weeping with relief—relief that her baby boys aren’t dead.
Mnemosyne kneels down in front of her. “They’re both safe. I’m safe. They’re big, strong boys.”
The woman (whose name is Melantha) steps forward and hugs all three of her children. Mnemosyne gives her the basics of why there are living people in the underworld: they are on their way to Egypt right now, but they need to fetch the cornucopia of Demeter in the underworld.
Melantha suddenly seems to be under some sort of compulsion. She grabs the two baby bundles, stands up, and starts walking away. “I love you,” she says, before she falls under that compulsion and starts walks away. Mnemosyne hugs her brothers very tightly and mentally steels herself, while some of those party members looking on either start crying or try not to cry.
“Who was that?” Zacharias asks Mnemosyne, once Melantha is out of earshot.
“That was Mom,” Mnemosyne replies.
“Wait…if that was Mom, then who was home?” Zacharias asks, speaking of their home in Sparta.
“A very nice woman who took care of you while I was lost,” Mnemosyne informs her.
“So we don’t have a mommy?” Zacharias asks. Aella starts sobbing and buries her face in Atrophos’s shoulder, while Atrophos stands there, very confused.
“We have good friends. We have people who care about us; and we have each other,” Mnemosyne tells them. She gets glomped by both of her brothers. Althaia places a hand on Mnemosyne’s shoulder, and Badru places his hand on Mnemosyne’s other shoulder.
“Maybe one day we’d meet Adelphe. Adelphe is nice, too,” Mnemosyne tells them.
“Who’s she?” Zacharias asks.
“Our eldest sister.”
“We have another sister?”
“We have three.”
“Are they down here, too?”
“No, they’re not.”
Iona by this point has completely lost it: she is sobbing, her heart breaking for these poor children. She comes over and hugs Mnemosye and the boys. Aella continues sobbing and also reaches over to hug Mnemosyne and the boys.
“You’re all going to squish her,” Aiolos says to those hugging Mnemosyne.
Althaia shoos away the other party members who are in the group hug, then leans down to the two little boys. “We have to keep going, dears; we don’t want to linger too long in one place,” she tells them. “You’re welcome to walk near your sister if you’d like.” Zacharias steps up next to Mnemosyne’s side, while Mathias grabs his sister’s hand and doesn’t let go.
Fukayna, meanwhile, has reached the tower door. She tries to climb the tower, which is made of obsidian. She gets up onto her hindquarters, but doesn’t manage to climb up the slippery walls. So she tries to figure out a way to get through the door. She prays for wings, but doesn’t get her prayer. So she then prays to be big enough to get through the door—no, rather, big enough to reach the observation deck (keep in mind that she is already the size of an adult lion). She gets this prayer, and suddenly grows to be 150 feet tall.
The rest of the party, meanwhile, has started walking toward the tower. Fukayna’s suddenly enormous paws start coming down on top of the party. Aella dives and tries to push Atrophos out of the way, but misses, and so the both of them get stepped on; then Althaia pulls Aella up onto the back of her horse. Mithra attempts to push Linus out of the way, but he also misses, and so the both of them
get stepped on.
Fukayna looks down and notices that she is stepping on her party members, and so she lifts up her foot. Linus is fine, since he is already undead (in fact, chances are, Fukayna’s claw went right through the hole in his chest).
Unfortunately, due to Mithra’s divine boon of extreme prettiness, he takes three times the amount of damage when he is hit, and so he is in the “grievous wound” zone (with five hit points left). Althaia heals him with her herbs, so that his wound is no longer grievous, just a regular wound. He now has a nice hole in his back. Althaia summons Bosca over to lend her a hand in healing her fiancé. Bosca casts a healing spell and heals Mithra.
Aella rushes over to Atrophos to make sure she is okay. Atrophos verifies that she is all right, then goes over to Kleos (who also got stepped on) and starts slapping his face to make sure he is conscious. When she notices there’s blood on both herself and on Kleos, she starts shaking her brother and screaming hysterically.
Iona rushes over to Atrophos and asks her what is wrong, while Aella tries unsuccessfully to calm her charge down. After Atrophos stops screaming quite as much, Iona lets go of her. Atrophos bandages Kleos’s wound, but there is still blood on her. Badru bandages her, but as soon as he is done, Atrophos hops away. Aella follows her and tries to place a hand on her shoulder, but Atrophos hops away from her, too. Aella’s ears fold back sadly.
Fukayna looks into the tower. The top of the tower has windows that seem to be covered by black curtains, so one can’t really see through them, although she sees flickers of light.
Aiolos, meanwhile, steps up to the door and tries to open it. When he finds that the cat is locked, she decides to climb up the cat, hoping to get to Hades before Fukayna does something stupid. He gets a quarter of the way up the cat’s body—halfway up the leg. Fukayna shakes her leg, and Aiolos falls off and bruises up his body.
Fukayna starts rubbing her cheek against the tower. Luckily, the tower does not fall down. Hades is laughing at the party, not that they know that. He is entertained at the big pink cat stepping on people, the souls having fun going through it, and people flying.
Atrophos prays for the blood to go to away, and suddenly everyone finds themselves in sparkly clean clothing (although they still have all their damage). Atrophos stops hyperventilating, but she is still freaking out. Aella asks her if she is feeling better. Atrophos doesn’t answer.
Aiolos prays for healing, and everyone who needs it gets 8 HP back.
The party is now at the entrance to the tower. Mithra goes up to the door and knocks on the door, but Hades is too busy laughing his head off to hear the knocking. Fukayna is pressing her nose up against the glass, but Hades is too busy laughing to notice her, either. Althaia makes a prayer, and a moon path appears along the outside of the tower.
Aiolos prays to Hades (a BIG DEAL for him): “As the other gods have sent us on a mission to his domain, would he be so kind as to please allow us to have the item we were sent to find, the cornucopia of Demeter?” The door opens, and he walks in, after giving a prayer of thanks.
Meanwhile, Althaia and her entourage had started up the moon staircase, and are now four flights up the tower. Atrophos is still frozen in place, and Aella is trying to comfort her. Iona moves into Atrophos’s line of sight.
“Atrophos, I need you to talk to me. Can you tell me what’s wrong?” she asks. Atrophos doesn’t respond and turns her head. Iona moves into her sight again.
“If you don’t tell me anything, I can’t help you.”
“I can do things fine without you.”
“Will you come with us? Can we go get the artifacts now?”
“I need a few minutes.”
“Do you want someone to be with you? Or can we go ahead?”
“Whatever,” Atrophos responds. Aella turns to Iona, a look of confusion on her face. Iona takes a few steps away. Kleos glomps his “brother,” and while Atrophos doesn’t respond, she doesn’t push him away.
Fukayna, meanwhile, has noticed those climbing up the moon bridge—obviously, since the bridge appeared right under her nose. She stares at the party with a “What the heck are you doing?” look on her face. She is still sobbing, thick, salty tears falling on the party. Mithra, however, is the only one who manages to get wet; he feels like the tears should be burning when they hit his back, but they’re not, since he has been healed.
“I wish I had an umbrella right now,” Mithra mutters. Althaia snaps her fingers, and one of her slaves holds a cape over Mithra’s head, shielding him from the salty rain shower.
They reach the top of the tower. They find that the windows are a one-way mirror: Hades can see out, but they cannot see in. Mithra knocks on the window, and this time Hades hears them. He opens the window, and the party walks in. Fukayna sticks her eyeball to the window, so now there is a giant eyeball pressed up where the windowpane used to be.
Once the party gets in, the window closes, leaving Fukayna outside. She starts rubbing up against the tower again. At the same time, Aiolos reaches the top of the tower and another door. He knocks on the door, and it opens. Linus, who had followed Aiolos and taken Electra with him, telling her to stay very close to him, is right behind Aiolos.
The party makes appropriate gestures of respect toward the God of the Dead. Hades does not look like the Hades from the Disney movie Hercules
. Rather, he is a very, very pale, almost unhealthy pallor man, with hair that is darker than black (without the sheen of normal hair), with the features of a normal Greek man, and clad in the typical Greek god dress. He is kind of lounging on a throne. Next to his throne is a second throne, and on that throne is the cornucopia of Demeter. (Badru keeps to the shadows of the room, feeling rather uncomfortable and like he doesn’t belong.)
Hades is bitter with his brother (Zeus) and doesn’t communicate very well with the rest of the field, and takes great pleasure in watching the torment and misery of others, which is why his castle is in Tarumus and not Elysian. He is a bit of a jerk. He doesn’t like any of the other gods, but he especially hates Demeter, who took his bride away, and Zeus.
“May we speak with you, my lord?” Althaia addresses Hades, bowing her head in respect. She briefly explains what they have been requested to do by their respective deities—that is, find certain lost ancient items.
“And this concerns me how?” Hades asks, in a deep, looming voice.
“The answer, my lord, is twofold: partially because we have been requested to retrieve the cornucopia currently in your possession, but also because my deity wishes that we inquire as to whether or not you have any items which you wish for us to receive,” Althaia replies.
Hades’s hand reaches down and clutches the cornucopia. “The only thing that I would accept in return for giving this up is my bride,” he says.
Aiolos speaks up this time. “I’m sorry, my lord, but we are not able to compel a god,” he says. He purposely does not specify whether he means Persephone or Demeter.
Hades leans back on his throne and crosses his legs, staring up and to the side; it’s hard to tell if he is actually thinking or just staring into space.
“My lord, if you would permit, I would be honored if I could perform for you,” Mithra offers. Hades smirks at him at the word “perform,” a sort of “Do you realize what your choice of words meant?” amusing kind of smirk. Mithra goes for it and starts singing, hoping to lighten the mood. He lightens the mood in general, and Hades chills for about 30 seconds.
Then the cornucopia flickers slightly. Hades notices this, and his mood turns twice as dark as it was before.
Atrophos, meanwhile, gets up and walks toward the open doors, not caring if the others follow her. Aella and Iona follow her. As they are walking up the stairs, Aella apologizes to Atrophos: “I’m sorry about the paw… I tried to pray for her to be teeny, and it didn’t work! And I’m sorry… I tried to push you out of the way, but I was stopped.”
“Don’t be sorry,” Atrophos says.
“But I didn’t do a good job,” Aella protests.
“Don’t be sorry. You ain’t got nothin’…” And Atrophos trails off.
“Atrophos, can you tell us with words why you are upset?” Iona asks. Atrophos shakes her head. “Was it because you got hurt? Because others got hurt?” Atrophos shakes her head. “Was because Fukayna got turned into a bigger cat?” Atrophos shakes her head. “Why can’t you tell us what it was?”
“Because I can’t,” Atrophos says.
Fukayna, meanwhile, turns around and tries to knock the castle with her tail. Her tail slaps the tower, and the tower holds onto her tail—that is, her tail becomes glued to the tower. She reaches out with her back foot and tries to knock with her claw. A window about the size of her claw opens up. Fukayna twists around and tries to do her best to peer into the hole. She tries to get her claws in the hole to make the hole bigger. The tower snaps shut, and the end of her nail breaks off. She tries to whack the windows with her back foot in attempt to break it, but fails.
Meanwhile, back inside the tower, Hades has a slightly amused look on her face at all the tapping and scratching going on outside. And everyone else can see what Fukayna is doing, so they know exactly what is amusing Hades so much. Althaia, Aiolos, and Badru all jade-palm.
In fact, Fukayna’s antics are not just amusing Hades; they are all amusing the rest of Tarturus that is not already lit up from the bright light coming from Fukayna’s glowing teeth. The dried-blood color of Tarturus turns a shade lighter to the color of blood that is not quite as dried.
Atrophos, Aella, and Iona reach the top of the tower at this point. Iona peers around the edge of the door cautiously; she knows how Hades feels about Demeter.
Althaia realizes, being a diplomat, that normally when people make demands like this, the other party expects negotiation. Althaia tells Hades that, while she understands his logical longing for his bride, she would like to help him, if possible, but that a mere mortal cannot compel a god.
“Fine. Go and talk to them,” Hades says.
Althaia then tells Hades that she would be more than willing to do that, but she is not entirely certain how to find the other gods from his domain.
“Ask her,” Hades says, and points at Iona.To be continued...
The logs for episode 16 and 17 will hopefully be up within the next 24 hours....